Drava International company owner, two other suspects remanded in custody

NEWS 19.01.202417:18 0 komentara
Davor Javorovic/PIXSELL

An Osijek County Court investigating judge on Friday remanded Drava International plastics recycling company director Zvonko Bede and two other suspects in custody on the charges that they committed a number of offences in connection with a fire that broke out on the company premises last October. Pročitaj više

The suspects were remanded in custody due to the risk of witness tampering and a possible repetition of the same or a more serious offence, court spokesman Davor Mitrovic said.

Bede and the other two suspects, aged 47 and 46, are suspected of committing a serious offence against the environment, endangering the environment and endangering life and property by dangerous public acts or means.

Bede’s attorney Mate Matic said after today’s hearing that his client had resigned as the company director and that there was not even a theoretical possibility that he could repeat the offence, describing the court’s decision as absurd.

Attorney Dubravka Krklec contested the court’s remanding Bede in custody due to possible witness tampering, noting that the defence repeated today that Bede could have exerted influence on witnesses in the past three months if he had wanted to. The defence team proposed imposing measures of precaution, such as house arrest, because it does not consider investigative custody necessary, she said.

Answering a reporter’s question, Krklec confirmed that Bede’s defence would be based on the suspicion that the fire was planted considering the circumstances that had preceded the event, such as damage to the company’s wire fence and information indicating that the cause of the fire could not have been spontaneous combustion.

Since spontaneous combustion has been determined as the cause, as alleged by the prosecution, we will seek an opinion of an independent expert to determine the exact circumstances, Krklec said.

The defence team said that so far there had been no evidence indicating any responsibility and that the pollution of water, air and soil had not been determined by any physical evidence or expert report.

Attorney Matic said somebody wanted to “see the company with more than 500 employees and a turnover of more than €50 million, ruined.”

The fire at the plastics deport of the Osijek-based company broke out after midnight on 4 October. A large number of firefighters participated in putting out the fire, which was extinguished on 13 October. Three firefighters sustained injuries, of whom one was seriously injured.

The criminal complaint against the responsible company officials and unidentified perpetrators was filed by then Osijek-Baranja County head Ivan Anusic.

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